Wallpaper. Just the sight or sound of that word usually evokes 18th Century scenic or floral images or, worse, the gaudy, headache-inducing designs that were widely – and wildly – popular in the 1970s. However, there’s no denying it any longer. Wallpaper is back. It seemed to be on hiatus for a little while, but now these room-defining wall coverings have returned in full force. For evidence of its regained status, we don’t need to look any further than the bathroom.
Often the last room on our decorating to-do lists, bathrooms all over are finding new life and interest through wallpaper. There’s a nearly infinite number of patterns you can find and an even greater number of possibilities for what you can do with them. Use it as a statement or an accent. Cover one wall or all four. Adorn your walls in bling or transport your bathroom to a far off, exotic locale. In fact, wallpaper can actually be used in the bathroom to create glamour, elegance, drama and even fun. Below are some of the various options to consider:
This hand-painted, patterned wallpaper brings out the metal in the console, sconces, and faucet. When combined with the chandelier, it creates a glitzy bathroom design. “Wallpaper has really transformed over the last decade,” explains Kimberly Schmunk, an interior designer at Focus Builders. “There are several new designers that have a variety of fresh and graphic designs and textures.”
There’s just so much that patterns can do. The leopard print of this paper – a sophisticated mix of neutrals – is perfect for letting the bright brass of the sink fixtures and the emerald green of the mirror, vase and soap dish really pop. So even in a neutral palette, wallpaper can carry a strong dose of pattern to create incredible effects in a bathroom.
This bold, graphic, black-and-white wallpaper in a bathroom by Flo Design Studio makes a big statement. The asymmetrical design really adds visual interest to space. This wallpaper would look stunning in a variety of home styles, but it’s especially well-suited for a midcentury modern-style house.
You don’t have to wallpaper the entire bathroom. Used sparingly, like the wallpaper applied below the chair rail molding in the photo above, it can still create a powerful impression. “Wallpaper done tastefully can add character to any room, especially bathrooms and bedrooms,” says Angela Williams, a Birmingham, AL-based realtor at Extreme Agent Realty. “I don’t suggest papering an entire room, but accent walls are trendy,” Williams says.